Publication on Population Health Intervention Research: Proud to be a Co-author

I am proud to be a co-author of a new and key publication in the field of population health intervention research (PHIR). This is the culmination of a challenging and very interesting 2-year project, involving experts from a number of different disciplines and fields.

It is published by Springer Nature in the Open Access journal ‘Trials’. Click here.

“Population health intervention research: what is the place for pilot studies?”
Authors: Lehana Thabane, Linda Cambon, Louise Potvin, Jeanine Pommier, Joëlle Kivits, Laetitia Minary, Kareen Nour, Pierre Blaise, Julie Charlesworth, François Alla and Discussion Panel.

Involvement in this international collaborative project and open access publication is in keeping with my personal values, and those of A Tree of Life Sciences in “transcending borders and boundaries” in high value projects.

More to follow about this PHIR publication and involvement in related work.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

Work/Life Balance: Springtime ‘Walking the talk’

 

‘Walking the talk’ with the month of April 2019 spent in Nice, France.

A great thing about being an independent consultant is that much of the work can be done from anywhere – I have a particular fondness for Nice.

Many of you might recognise from one of my photos (the sea-view, from my LinkedIn photo header of several years), that I use my distinctive A Tree of Life Sciences® logo and image as a watermark on my slides in presentations etc.

It’s invigorating to get away and create an environment to facilitate creative thinking and fresh ideas; this time developing talks.

Life throws all sorts of things at us all, over the years; but these days I am loving my work and being able to contribute something a bit different on occasions.

It was great to get away on this occasion in Nice, France. It is also great to be back home, in the UK.

Returned to the UK and discovered something new for the ‘The Spring Collection’

Full of the joys of Spring and with a spring in my step, I’d like to share some photos taken on 5th May on a family outing.

I wanted to capture a moment to share the magical experience of a walk in a bluebell wood, near to home in England! Awash with a carpet of bluebells, indicators of ancient British woodland.

For 6 things you might not know about bluebells click here

Here’s to work/life balance!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

(All my own photos. P.S. that’s me and and my hubby of 39 years! We are also proud parents and grandparents together!)

Science, poetry and a personal thank you

I was honoured and very chuffed to have received a personal thank you from the University of Manchester for my support of the University of Manchester Access Programme (MAP) and in addition my student mentoring as part of the Manchester Gold programme in particular the impact on one of their PhD students.

A reception with about 150 people was held on February 27th in the Manchester Art Gallery. What a wonderful welcome with a personalised ‘party bag’ – actually it was very tastefully presented and it included a beautiful limited edition art print of Manchester University on the front of the card. Inside was a handwritten personal letter – what a lovely thoughtful gesture. It will be treasured!

The event was hosted by the university chancellor and poet, Lemm Sissay. Lemm opened the celebrations with a stirring and inspiring rendition of his poem ‘Making a difference’ – now that’s how to connect with an audience (learning point to self here)! A participant in the MAP recounted how the programme had truly ‘made a difference’ to her life and career opportunities.

Meeting Lemm Sissay

The guests at the reception were made to feel like special friends. It was great to see some now familiar faces and also to meet new ‘friends’ with diverse talents and careers: people with a common respect and fondness for the University who had contributed their time and ‘given back’ towards the future.

There was much mingling and serious talk; merriment and banter; and opportunities for happy photo shots.

[Note to myself – in 2016, the first time I saw Lemm speaking I think it may have rekindled the embers of my inner poet self – a little part of my soul. Subsequently, after a particularly inspiring science event I briefly dabbled in the art of poetry myself with a short poem. Better stick to the day job me thinks – but I’m happy to be a scientist and science communicator who might occasionally get carried away in the moment and burst into poetry (of a sort) – much to the embarrassment of my family. After all, science can also be ‘sheer poetry’!]

I left the Gallery with a sense of the importance of friendships and giving. I had a lovely evening and I very much appreciated being acknowledged in such a friendly and personal way.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

World Cancer Day: Tomorrow’s Treatments Made in Manchester

What an Inspiring event!
The event was held on February 5th 2019 in honour of World Cancer Day 2019. (Bright Building, Manchester Science Parks, UK).

Leading research conducted in Manchester is improving treatments for patients across the world. The format of the event included a review of recent achievements and areas of research activities; the vision for the future; compelling stories from 2 patient advocates; and a clear and informative panel discussion on Proton Beam Therapy. Presentations were followed by a reception with a chance to meet and put questions to some of the scientists and experts actively involved in research in Manchester.

The progress and achievements are phenomenal! The vision for the future is challenging, promising and positive.

Thank you to the organisers for the invitation to attend this special event.

For more about this read on…

We heard about research activities and achievements – recent, current and on the horizon. Here is an indication of just some of the exciting and important areas of research in Manchester; with a few comments and thoughts:

Prevention and screening – addressing questions such as: “Can we use circulating DNA or proteins in the blood to find lung cancer at its earliest stages?” “Can we use it to detect recurrences at the earliest stages?”

Aiming to enable health screening to be earlier and easier for some patients who are at higher risk (and who might otherwise present with more advanced lung disease). For example, a pilot study in Rochdale used mobile vans in more convenient locations for patients. This is now being further evaluated in a wider NHS roll-out taking ‘screening to supermarket car parks’ (recent media coverage).

Approaches in research and treatment taking into account multi-morbidity – because people with cancer are living with other diseases.

Enabling real time follow up of patients – using technologies to see how patients are doing in real time.

Precision medicine – the use of linked bio-banks, advances in genomics and informatics to try to close the gap in translational research and treatment of patients.

The new Proton beam facility located here in Manchester – the first patient was treated in December 2018. Pioneering research and collaborations are being facilitated and encouraged.

‘Team Science’ – as the way forward. ‘Cancer research conducted in an interdependent fashion in a large group across many subjects to deeply integrate knowledge.’

‘Town Hall’ events are also enabling wider discussion including the involvement of patients.

Finally, an overall aim is to provide the best cancer care – with opportunities facilitated by the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) involving 3 partners working so closely together: The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University and Cancer Research UK. There will be interesting findings to report.
Of course, not all research will lead to big breakthroughs. Research involves a lot of hard work and can be frustrating and even disappointing at times. On the other hand, science can also be surprising; serendipity is also a factor on occasions. With a wealth of sound research activity, cross-disciplinary teams and fresh perspectives there is every reason to feel optimistic that cancer research will be contributing to knowledge and understanding of fundamental biology, mechanisms, real life implications and benefits for patients.

Life can throw up unexpected circumstances and events. A terrible blow was dealt by the devastating fire at the Paterson building in April 2017.
There are now prospects of a new building and new opportunities with ‘team science’.

There was a palpable ‘buzz’ in the air at this event in February.

As I have said before there’s a lot happening in Manchester UK these days!

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

….

The Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) is a unique partnership between the University, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.
Further information about the MCRC

Previous related posts:
Feeling proud and honoured to be invited to such events which also included a preview of the opening of the MCRC in 2015
and here is a short report of a visit in 2016 also touching on why the location holds special memories from my own early research years.

Northern Power Futures Festival

They delivered as promised ‘an explosion of inspiration, workshops, practical advice and engaging event for all to enjoy’ on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th November 2018 in Manchester Central.
NP Futures Manchester central
I turned up to observe and listen seriously and carefully. Discussions covered ‘all things work, community, culture, lifestyle and wellbeing’.

It was refreshing and worthwhile to be able to turn up at such an event without any prior commitment and discover some quality sessions.

Notably, there was a large turn out of school students on the Friday, enthusiastic to participate in talks clearly relevant to their futures in both a regional and global context.

Going to events in this way gives you access to a wider perspective on developments in different contexts.

Thank you to the organisers, speakers etc., and all those involved. It takes a lot of hard work and experience to make it flow so naturally and be so relevant overall.

More information on Northern Power Futures here

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

Thank you ESOF 2018!

Euorpean Science Open Forum (ESOF 2018) media accreditation

EuroScience Open Forum 2018 in France

Thank you ESOF 2018!

For Media Accreditation

For the Freedom to dip in and out with access to everything. The opportunity to meet, mingle and make friends with so many interesting people.

As a science communicator, I am returning with so many stories to tell from Toulouse.

I will be spreading not only the serious science but also the joy of science. Watch this space – here and elsewhere.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

Celebrating Inspiring Women at Manchester, March 2018

I was delighted to have been invited to the ‘Celebrating Inspiring Women at Manchester’ event on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2018.

Celebrating Inspiring Women at Manchester

This year the discussions focussed on the media industry and the ways it shapes how we talk about women. The expert panel discussion stimulated an insightful and thought-provoking evening with some timely and pertinent questions together with an atmosphere of openness and sharing of experiences. It was also a great opportunity for meeting new friends, colleagues and current students to reflect on progress made and new challenges. Thank you to all the organisers for making this such an interesting and enjoyable event.

More about this event and other perspectives on International Women’s Day to be found here.

by Dr Julie Charlesworth

2018 and a new theme for A Tree of Life Sciences

2018 heralds our new theme….

… in Life Sciences, Clinical and Health Research and Initiatives

We are increasing our involvement in international high-value collaborative projects, through consultancy and communication work, whilst continuing to support initiatives and causes that are heartfelt.

Here’s to great co-operation, collaboration and communication in 2018!

Kew, curiosity and a global perspective

Here are some of the displays and views I captured on film, from a recent visit to Kew Gardens, London. The KEW Gardens experience is inspirational – it has led me to discover some interesting research.

Kew Gardens, London

Whilst some of the most popular indoor sections of the gardens are currently being refurbished, this did mean there was more time to explore the outdoors.

You may have already guessed I have a fondness for trees.

Kew Gardens, London

So, it became a day for some “tree-bathing” – well, that’s a term I recently came across – something which seems to me to be a very natural experience enjoyed by so many for centuries. For example, a walk in the woods and just being close to trees and nature lifts the spirit.

The intermittent showers of rain, interspersed with sunshine contributed to making this a refreshing and happy day out with my daughters (their treat to me – a surprise and a change from a shopping trip – the latter being something I also enjoy and not to be entirely dismissed, of course).

On returning home, I was interested to find out a bit more about ‘Forest bathing’ – the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits which is apparently a recognized relaxation and/or stress management activity in Japan. There is increasing interest elsewhere and there is some interesting science behind this as well.

Moreover, I was curious to find out more about KEW. I also discovered some fascinating collaborative research and a 2017 KEW report providing a world perspective of plant-life.

“A detailed knowledge of plants is fundamental to human life on Earth. Plants underpin all aspects of our everyday life — from the food that we eat, to the clothes that we wear, the materials we use, the air we breathe, the medicines we take and much more. These essential services provided by plants are far too often taken for granted. This is the second annual report in which we have scrutinised databases, published literature, policy documents, reports and satellite imagery to provide a synthesis of current knowledge on the world’s plants.” Click here for the full report.

We should always be curious – you never know what you might discover…

Dr Julie Charlesworth